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The Stranger

One year ago today, an unwanted stranger arrived at our home -
The stranger came into our lives and changed everything.
The stranger wasn't welcomed or invited or expected.
In fact, the stranger invaded. It attacked.
Like a bully, it went for the smallest and weakest.
Like a coward, this stranger didn't announce its' arrival – it came in
quietly and secretly. Like a tyrant, it now wants total submission and
total domination.

This stranger visits two children, in every state in the US, every month.
It chose our home, our family, our hearts, our little boy.

This stranger changed this little boy. It changed all those who knew him
and loved him.

It made those who loved him look at the world differently. It made those
who loved him question higher powers; made them ask the simple question,

The stranger is quiet at times, not letting anyone know it is lurking and
living inside the boy. Other times, the stranger is physically present is
the boy's mood, personality and trembling hands. It is a sneaky, evil

The stranger doesn't speak. There are no answers for the loved ones. The
stranger doesn't console the mother who weeps. Or calm the father who
worries. Or soothe the big brother who watches with concerned eyes.

But the stranger didn't know this little boy before deciding to take over.
It didn't know this little one's spirit, his bravery, his courage and his
powerful being. The stranger underestimated a mother's unbelievable love, a
father's unwavering determination, and a brother's unconditional support.

One year ago today, the stranger changed us. It changed how we spent our
days and nights. It changed how we looked at life. And while I pray for
this stranger to go away forever, I sometimes think of the stranger in a
favorable way. It made us appreciate good days, healthy days. It made us
savor giggles and smiles a little longer. It united us. It brought us

If the stranger's, (A.K.A. Type 1 Diabetes), objectives were to destroy
us, it failed.

And with the love and support of so many people, it will never win.

Poem by Tommy's mom
Mary Ellen O'Neill
mary_ellen_oneill AT
February 27, 2005

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Last Updated: Saturday March 05, 2005 21:29:06
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